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Tour guides we had

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Amarillo TX
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Tour guides we had

Hi all, I decided to post these separate - hope that's ok,

We did use Alrick Allen to and from the airport, and they were prompt and reliable.

We also used Alrick for the south tour - which was to YS falls and Appleton Rum factory. We loved the YS falls - the workers there were wonderful. The rum factory was interesting, but I thought too expensive.

Alricks brother Dale took us to Negril for shopping, the beach and Ricks cafe. We loved that also - and my son actually jumped twice at Ricks.

Alrick was good - he gets you there and back with lots of chatter. However, he never answered a straight question about anything with the country. If you asked about how much people made, cost of housing, anything - he walked around it - never an answer. I might be asking for too much, but when we hire a private driver, we've come to expect a little more information on the country. He also took every cell phone call he got. Now, running his own business, I understand that - but again, We were paying for his time and the roads were were on were very curvy and at times I wondered about his attention to the driving. We had also requested to stop at the little road side eat places that had shrimp, and he took us to one that he knew, but no shrimp there - they were his friends of course.

His brother Dale, we loved. He never took a call, though we could hear it go off. He stopped at a local place along the way because it was of interest. He pointed out things along the way, and he also gave us a time line. Like how much time we had here, there and there - in order to get it all in and not miss anything.

We also took Reggae Tours over to Dunns Falls. It was last minute, so we were thankful to get anyone. I had posted earlier Charles, but his name was Chester. Chester did have a lot of information on the country so that was the good point. His van was a bit slow, so the drive too way longer than expected. He also pulled over to the side of the road to answer phone calls or to return the calls. Which again, we had paid for his time and we're sitting on the side of the road while he makes phone calls. Safety first, but..... Chester also took us to a shop that he 'guaranteed' the best prices - and we were totally ripped off - only because we bought without having done any pricing first. So our fault there.

Hope this helps if anyone is looking for a driver.

Deb

Norwalk, Connecticut
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1. Re: Tour guides we had

I think you gave a good review...but let me help you understand some things.

Never in Jamaica should you consider your driver to be like a chauffer in the states. You ARE NOT paying for his full time atten tion --one and only --like when you get a chauffered car. Your driver in jamica is NOT your chauffer.

Alrick is top of the line..because he is --he MUST answer calls immediately under most circumstances in order to know whos plane has arrived late. Who has cancelled and who needs his service.

The secondary driver he got for you is just that. he does not have the responsibility to make sure every one gets picked up on time etc.

Whenin Jamaica YOU always need to remember that YOU are in a foreign country. jamaican dollars IS NOT US Dollars. WHy would you just ssume that he could transpose the Jamaican Dollar to US Dollare in order to tell you how much homes cost or what they make. Sorry ===but that is rude. At best you should of asked for a Newspaper which he would of gotten for you. By the way..my home is worth $900,000.00 ----whats yours ?????

Jamaicans make a pittance weekly===but drivers make a good pay and it is above average. My husband makes $100.000.00 how much does yours make ?

See what I mean?

The working person in Jamaica cannot and usually does not purchase any of the homes you might see.....they live more so in the communitys they grew up in-----unless they are making a lot of money.. Any home the'd want wopuld be quoted to thnem in Jamaican Dollars not US and the exchange would be VERY different.

As I like to say OPEN YOUR EYES. Your not in Kansas anymore

If that was you calling him to say please p;ease pick me up even though my plane is 2 hours late....but we've now arrived....you'd understand why drivers MUST take calls--thnis is Jamaica not Kansas !!

Amarillo TX
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2. Re: Tour guides we had

wanttotrav

I didn't write the review to dis anyone, but for others, like me, who have hired private drivers in other countries - (NOT in the US) and had a huge different experience. The private drivers we have hired in other countries were our favorite days in those countries. they were a fount of information. So, if someone like me, looking for a private driver and expecting the same - well, now they know. We still enjoyed our days immensely. I was just pointing out the differences in the experiences we had.

I also did not 'assume' they could translate the money for us - we could do that - like we did with Chester. But curiosity on what the average person would make, did they have a minimum wage like we do, and the average prices on houses in the cities vs in the mountains - just helps us understand the culture better, and it certainly had a bearing on how we ended up tipping our servers. You do not get the full picture of a country if you stay in a resort - so when out and about - we just want to learn what we can.

I meant no disrespect. We enjoyed all 3 drivers... just pointing out differences.

Apache Junction...
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for Montego Bay
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3. Re: Tour guides we had

Most drivers we've had would have tried to answer any questions we had. They might not have been able to give specifics, but they would have at least tried to give us information we could understand.

As far as the phone calls, that could be construed as rude, if they were personal calls. If they were other clients or potential clients, then by all means take the call.

Rehoboth Beach...
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4. Re: Tour guides we had

You are correct that a chauffeur in the USA is not the same as a private guide/driver in Jamaica.

A Chauffeur simply drivers you from point A to point B in a luxury sedan or limousine. There is usually little or no conversation as their is generally a partition between the driver and passenger.

A private tour guide you hire to give you a tour of wherever you are going which includes facts of the area/place/etc. You ARE paying that driver for their undivided time that YOU have contracted with them.

While an owner/operator may have to hustle to keep the work coming in they should not be conducting other business when they are with existing clients. He needs to employ someone to help him out with bookings so he can focus on the current clients IN THE VAN!

Then to take a client to a place for lunch that does not serve the food items they are wanting is another big no-no.

Personally I would never ask anyone what they make for a living. But I do not think that is what the OP was asking exactly. I think she just wanted to know the general state of the economy.

I have read some comments Allrick Allen has made on his blog. A few were altogether insulting toward tourist in general. This leads me to believe he is not really interested in sharing his Country. The comments by the OP solidifies this for me.....or maybe he is just still to young to know the answers.

Victoria,texas
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5. Re: Tour guides we had

WANTOTRAVEL,I absolutely agree with you 500%.

Central PA
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6. Re: Tour guides we had

We used Reggae Tours, our driver was Mark. He was very professional, answered our questions and gave his comments on housing areas we passed, including how much the homes were selling for, a perfectly valid question. Also about average salaries for different occupations. Questions about crime, schools, hospitals, etc. All general questions about the economy, gas prices, etc. The number 1 business in Jamaica is tourism, he was glad we were there, glad we hired him for the day and eager for our return....which we will do, because of fine people like him on the island. He kept his hands on the wheel and his eyes on the road.

Amarillo TX
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7. Re: Tour guides we had

Mike0917 - that was exactly it - just general questions as we went along. I never asked him how much he made - that would have been rude. Chester had some of the answers for us - and was sure to say 'in the range of' or 'last he had checked' but it was good information for us. Chester was much older, so maybe it was an age thing. Not sure. All 3 had their good points.

Deb

Central PA
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8. Re: Tour guides we had

I knew where you were coming from Deb. You're in a different country, trying to absorb as much as you can in a short time, learning about the people and culture.

No different than taking a ride in another state in the US that you've never visited, asking some general questions on the area.

Norwalk, Connecticut
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9. Re: Tour guides we had

Not to knock ya Deba--at all------but some of those things mentioned here are exactly what I am talking about.

Mike o9--you are truely a UGLY AMERICAN --if you think you can go to another country and ask someone how much money they make. In this country that can get you knocked out , beaten up mentally and if you as a co-worker while on the job---you could lose YOUR JOB.

If you have ANY social skills at all---you know you cannot go around ASKING PEOPLE HOW MUCH THEY MAKE . Rude !!! Rude !!! Rude !!!!

I didn't mention the food issue....and I will tell you why ? When I was there in September I used Alrick...and I mentioned to him that next time I visit--i wanted to go to the places that sell the GOOD SHRIMP on the roadside.I knew about it because I saw a T.V. show about it. He told mme NO PROBLEM ---but that the places he recommended were a day trip away. I will not mention where so I can be objective in this conversation. I don't know where you were or where you wanted to stop to get the shrimp.......but many things come to my mind about stopping and none of them would be whether he was "friends " with them or not. Cleanliness , safety , conditons of the bathrooms , costs...these are the things that pass my mind....also the stop for shrimp would be arranged in the trip making plans--not a side thing....I don't need to tell you what bad seafood can do to you. I eat mostly seafood. myself.

Yes, Alrick is a young man . He is doing great things and has worked very hard to get to where he is. You show me a better young man working as hard as he does.

And MIKE --if your driver answered all those questions about price of homes ,salarys for 20 different occupations and all that other garbage you mentioned--you truly thought you had a Greyhound Bus Tour Driver like in Los Angeles California showing the rich celebritys homes up in the hills. No man would give you all that information while driving except he must of been hard up for the money. I have had many different drivers---and very few --could exchange the rate for houses and Jamaican to U.S. dollars plus know all the prices for all the different Parishs and towns that you drive through getting one place to another and still pay attention to the road and the driving !!!

How many beers did you say you had by that time ?

And you wouldn't DARE be driving in unknown towns and ask the driver how much money he made--so stop lying will ya....cause you know you'd probably get punched out !!

Texas
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10. Re: Tour guides we had

WANTTOTRAV take it easy. They aren't attacking Alrick or anyone else. I've always asked general questions about the price of food, cars/vans, gas, property, etc and don't care whether it is in $J or US. I've never asked anyone their salary (although some have told me) but I have asked what a teacher makes, a policeman, laborer, maid, cook, etc. I have had drivers take us to shops owned by friends which was okay. No one is trying to be the ugly American, I think most Jamaicans appreciate that you have an interest in their country and how they live.